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Spending Package Would be Groundbreaking Expansion of Social Safety Net

Critics in the United States who argue about the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package pending in the US Congress, which would expand government investment in the country’s broken social safety net and protections for workers, are missing…
US President Joe Biden speaks on how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
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Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
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Reinvestment Needed to Protect Residents’ Rights

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should appropriate sufficient funding to allow local public housing authorities to fully address the growing backlog of repair needs, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the US Senate Committee on…
First Houses in Manhattan, one of the earliest public housing developments in the United States
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Reinvest in Public Housing to Protect Residents’ Rights

Dear Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, Chairwoman Waters, and Ranking Member McHenry, I write on behalf of Human Rights Watch to urge you to increase appropriations to public housing, under Section 9 of the US Housing Act, as part of the $339…
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Restoring “Ability to Repay” Rule Would Help Protect Human Rights in the US

Millions of people in the US do not have enough money to cover basic needs and may be forced to turn to so-called payday lenders – short-term, small-dollar lenders who charge interest rates that can exceed 390 percent – to survive. Borrowers often…
A manager of a financial services counts cash being paid to a client as part of a loan in Ballwin, Missouri on August 9, 2018
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Federal Rule Allowing Payday Lenders to Avoid Interest Rate Limits Overturned

The US House of Representatives last week joined the Senate in voting to overturn a federal regulation that allowed payday and other small-dollar and short-term lenders to skirt limits on what interest rates they could charge for loans. This is a major…
The window of a payday loan store
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Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
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The Covid-19 pandemic in the United States has left millions of people struggling to make ends meet. Massive government spending, especially the stimulus checks, has provided crucial relief. But the checks are just a band-aid for a U.S. social safety…
Gina Stanton, of the Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attends a rally held by the Mon Valley  Unemployed Committee and Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid Group at Governor Tom Wolf’s regional office on March 10, 2021, downtown Pittsburgh.
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Docket No. OSHA-2018-0005

To Whom it May Concern: We are writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to submit comments and recommendations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), urging the agency to ensure that workers are protected from retaliation,…
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Reverse Decades-Long Assault on Right to Join Unions; Curb Inequality

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate should pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), five human rights and labor groups said today in releasing a question-and-answer document about the issue. The Senate should seize on a once-in…
Frontline healthcare workers in Minnesota picket for fair wages. 
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Proposed Law Could Improve Health Care for Millions of People

Last week, members of the United States House of Representatives reintroduced a bill to lower prescription drug costs. Congress now has the chance to provide relief for millions of people in the US struggling to afford vital medicines. For many in…
File photo showing pharmaceuticals. 
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No one should have to choose between housing that is unaffordable and housing that is uninhabitable.

President Joe Biden’s recently announced infrastructure plan calls for the federal government to invest $40 billion in repairing America’s public housing stock, a move that could open a new chapter in the nation’s fraught relationship with…
A group of protestors during a major demonstration at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City, in response to then-President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut $6.2 billion in federal housing funds, April 20, 2017. 
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Order Overturns Federal Rule Eliminating Speed Limits in Hog Plants

In a major victory for meatpacking workers, a United States district court in Minnesota on Wednesday found that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had violated federal law with a 2019 rule eliminating slaughter line speed limits in hog processing…
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Congress Should Address Gap in Magnitsky Act

Since 2017, the United States has sanctioned 150 people and entities for corruption under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The list of those targeted ranges widely – from the daughter of the former president of Uzbekistan to an…
Business Trap Corruption Graphic
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Biden Should Back Bill to Address US Role in Global Deforestation

A bill to prevent agricultural goods grown on illegally deforested land from entering the US market will be introduced in the US Congress, Senator Brian Schatz announced today. Beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and their derivatives are found in products…
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Current System Leaves Needs Unmet; Lasting Reforms Needed

(Washington, DC) – The United States government has made little progress in stemming the rise in poverty and inequality during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should take urgent action to address the rights of…
Volunteers load food into the trunk of vehicles during a ''Let's Feed LA County'' drive-thru food distribution by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the office of Supervisor Hilda Solis on February 23, 2021, in La Puente, California.